democracy - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • JimUSA
    • 16.08.10 | 16:50 (IDT)

    For those many doubters of Israel as a democratic nation, note the many investigative committees and their harsh rebuke of Israeli politicians, and tell me where among the many Muslim nations that could happen. Note further that Haaretz did not refer to any finding of actual legality/illegality of the raid, because the raid was perfectly legal under international law. Before certain hysterics denounce me, read in entirety the background and the specific terms of the San Remo Manual of the International Committee of the Red Cross, which actually is international law on sea blockades, and then describe exactly which provisions Israel violated. You will note that San Remo legitimizes blockades in international waters, legitimizes attacks on vessels which resist inspection or try to break a blockade. I'll save you some time: "...Conditions of exemption 48. Vessels listed in paragraph 47 are exempt from attack only if they: (a) are innocently employed in their normal role; (b) submit to identification and inspection when required; and (c) do not intentionally hamper the movement of combatants and obey orders to stop or move out of the way when required. 67. Merchant vessels flying the flag of neutral States may not be attacked unless they: (a) are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search or capture; Section II : Methods of warfare Blockade 96. The force maintaining the blockade may be stationed at a distance determined by military requirements.(Note that this clause anticipates extension of the blockade to international waters) 98. Merchant vessels believed on reasonable grounds to be breaching a blockade may be captured. Merchant vessels which, after prior warning, clearly resist capture may be attacked.(note) 102. The declaration or establishment of a blockade is prohibited if: (a) it has the sole(note) purpose of starving the civilian population or denying it other objects essential for its survival; or (b) the damage to the civilian population is, or may be expected to be, excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated from the blockade. 103. If the civilian population of the blockaded territory is inadequately provided with food and other objects essential for its survival, the blockading party must provide for free passage of such foodstuffs and other essential supplies, subject to: (a) the right to prescribe the technical arrangements, including search, under which such passage is permitted; and (b) the condition that the distribution of such supplies shall be made under the local supervision of a Protecting Power or a humanitarian organization which offers guarantees of impartiality, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross....." In other words, the blockade is legal, and there is no "right of resistance" by the ships' crews.

    from the article: A flotilla headed toward the truth
    First published 00:41 16.08.10 | Last updated 00:41 16.08.10
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